A reader of Real Estate Forms Simplified by Daniel Sitarz will discover a great deal of useful and detailed information about buying, selling, and renting real estate—primarily residential real estate. Sitarz offers easy-to-use forms for nearly every aspect of a residential real estate deal, as well as a CD containing the same forms in PDF format. Anyone who carefully reads Real Estate Forms Simplified will become a much more knowledgeable participant in one’s own real estate transaction.
Particularly useful is Sitarz’ detailed discussion in the second chapter, which provides an overview of the home-buying process. The author unravels a byzantine labyrinth of specifics regarding mortgage financing, for instance, creating a clear, precise outline of the various terms and steps involved in financing a home purchase. While certain aspects of today’s real estate mortgage market have changed since this book was written, the book covers the basics, and remains a good starting point for anyone still able to purchase a home in the current economy.
Of course, many real estate transactions entail much more than filling in forms. Some of the forms provided in Sitarz’s book, such as the Seller’s Disclosure Form, are made state specific. Other forms are more general and may need to be modified by the reader to comply with applicable state or local laws or regulation. Altering a form to comply with state law often will require some expertise in real estate law and practice. The guide to state laws contained in the appendix to Real Estate Forms Simplified is essential for the discerning reader to correctly determine how best to use the resources compiled by Sitarz. Clearly and precisely written contracts reduce the possibility of a dispute later arising over the terms of the agreement. The user of the forms in this book also needs to understand the difference between “filling in the blanks” and precisely drafting a paragraph in a binding contract.
Sitarz has done a good job of breaking down the usual residential real estate deal into its various parts. He has separate chapters on the home buying process, the selling of real estate, the closing process, and leasing real estate. Along the way he explains each process and the forms applicable to each, giving sufficient warnings to the reader that they should consult with either a real estate professional or an attorney for further advice and assistance.
Sitarz has compiled a useful set of tools that are best used in combination with other sources of advice or knowledge about real estate.